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Importance of a Sleep Routine for Baby


Some babies thrive on routine, and other babies will fight it tooth and nail (just like some adults!). Newborns have no idea what’s up and what’s down, and will have their days and nights mixed up for a little while. At this point, showing them that we sleep during the night and play during the day, with intervals of eating, playing, and more napping, is about as ambitious as you can get. The debates really start to heat up when sleeping and eating routines become a bit more regimented. Whatever you decide, remember that what works for one baby (and family) won’t necessarily work for another.

Eating and Sleeping Pattern for Baby

The key thing to remember here is that it’s routine, not schedule, that can be beneficial to babies and mothers alike. Babies and young children feel secure within a routine, even if it is very basic. As you get to know your baby, a natural pattern will emerge. You can either follow your baby’s lead completely and allow her whims to dictate when she eat and sleep, or you could go to the other end of the spectrum and decide what will work for you and work to make baby’s needs fit that. With either approach, there are pitfalls. Let baby decide everything, cater to their every need no matter what or when, and you risk some long-haul sleep deprivation. Let a clock or schedule decide when your baby is hungry or tired, and, well, you risk some long-haul sleep deprivation.

Truly, there is no right or wrong. What might work for the majority of moms is something nestled nicely in the middle of all that. Listen to your baby and follow his cues, but out of this carve a series of daily expectations that works for everyone. As your baby grows up, the ease of having a routine that is agreeable to everyone in the family will be worth its weight in gold. Pulling a bedtime routine out of nowhere when you suddenly have a temperamental toddler isn’t going to leave anyone happy (or well rested).

Above All, Follow Your Instincts

Babies, and later children, want what they want when they want it, but lack the mental capacity (yet) to assess whether it’s a wise idea. That’s our job as parents. Whether you cry it out, co-sleep, feed on demand, or according to the clock, be secure in the knowledge that establishing a routine for your baby need not mean you are trying to schedule them and ignore their needs. Quite the contrary, a routine for baby based upon his own cues is something that can help him to thrive.

No one will know your baby better than you – no one. Use your maternal judgment to figure out what keeps baby happiest and healthiest and your family functioning as you wish it to.

Understanding Baby Sleeping Patterns 4

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